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A New Dawn - Review

Sarah Leigh as Lucy

‘A New Dawn’, written by former political advisor Olly Kendall, is set 4 days before a general election when a news story is about to break that could destroy the new leading political party.


Emma and Lucy were once the rising stars of the Labour party and had high hopes of what they could achieve. But after Lucy was elected leader of the Labour party (and then shortly deselected) they learnt how harsh the world of politics can be with attacks not only coming from other parties but also from within their own party. We start the play with Emma, having set up a new party, coming to see now estranged wife Lucy for help in closing a story that threatens to destroy her and with it the hopes of what they could achieve. However, she would need to lie to do so and the play questions whether it’s okay to lie and how this impacts our trust in politicians.


A political play might not feel the most relaxing way to spend a Sunday afternoon but given BBC Parliament is having record viewing figures it certainly shows it’s at the forefront of people’s minds. In particular people are looking at what trust we should have in politicians and this play certainly examines that. But the current situation asks what trust even means as we see the limits of our constitution being tested. So while this play is interesting I wouldn’t say it’s pertinent to the real life situation we are currently seeing.


But it is still a gripping story that has engaging and complex characters that are brought to life with a great cast. While it is political it has a personal story at the centre that’s explored with real sincerity. Sarah Leigh as Lucy is particularly impressive as she manages to convey the vast complexity of her character in the short hour of the play. The script is clever with meaningful dialogue exploring he characters relationships alongside a thrilling plot. Although with Olly Kendall having previously worked in Westminster it makes me worry about where the story came from. With some House of Cards level manipulation it’s concerning how close to reality it may be.


It’s a good look at the machinations that go on behind the scenes and looks at the personal as well as the political. While it’s currently only on for three performances I hope it gets the opportunity to reach a wider audience.

We give this 4 Laura Michelle-Kelly stars!

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